Morocco vs Spain Highlights: Morocco stun Spain 3-0 on penalties to reach historic quarter-finals | Football News

NEW DELHI: Morocco surprised the 2010 champions Spain to reach their first-ever World Cup quarter-final on Tuesday, winning their Round of 16 in a penalty shootout at the Education City Stadium. Morocco beat Spain 3-0 on penalties, with all three Spanish shooters missing the goal.
Achraf Hakimi, a product of Real Madrid’s youth system, calmly scored the winner to take the African side into the final eight as a jubilant celebration erupted from players and fans in the stadium.
The match went into the penalty shootout after both teams failed to break the deadlock in regulation time. The score remained level at 0-0 even after 30 minutes of extra time, leading the game on penalties. Spain’s poor penalty shoot-out record at the World Cup continued, paving the way for Morocco, who will meet the winners of the match Portugal v Switzerland later in the night.

Two substitutes, Pablo Sarabia and Carlos Soler, along with Sergio Busquets came on for the Spanish penalty shootout and failed to score. While only Badr Benoun missed the conversion for Morocco, with Abdelhamid Sabiri and Hakim Ziyech scoring with Hakimi.
Spain manager Luis Enrique had claimed his players were prepared by taking 1,000 penalties at home, but Sarabia, Soler and Busquets all missed the mark and Madrid-born Hakimi stole his home to the delight of the loud support from Morocco.
Spain were hoping to repeat their triumph at the 2010 World Cup after reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2020, where they were also beaten on penalties by Italy.

The teams faced off in close quarters in a fierce clash, with Spain having more ball but Morocco creating the best openings, albeit few.
Luis Enrique tested his third right-back of the tournament in Marcos Llorente and benched the team’s top scorer Alvaro Morata for Marco Asensio, following the shock loss to Japan.
Spain monopolized the ball, with Moroccan fans whistling furiously with their team out of possession.
Morocco, which is the last African and Arab team left standing in the first World Cup hosted in an Arab country, received intense support and their fans greatly outnumbered those of Spain.

With La Roja playing in a pale blue second strip, they looked like the away team in hostile territory.
Gavi, who at 18 years and 123 days became the youngest player to start a World Cup knockout game since Brazilian great Pele in 1958, rose to the occasion.
The Barcelona midfield terrier was in his prime, throwing himself into challenges left, right and centre, even diving to make one with his head.
Guardian of Morocco Yassine Bounou tipped a Gavi shot over the crossbar, although it would have been ruled offside, while Asensio drilled into the side netting, although Spain created little.
Regragui’s side were deeply defensive and threatening on the counter, Unai Simon fending off a long-range effort from Noussair Mazraoui.

Sofiane Boufal, who circled Llorente like slippery sand through the Spaniard’s fingers early on, created the best chance of the half for Nayef Aguerd, who headed in just inches.
Bounou fended off a Dani Olmo strike from an angle as the tension mounted after the break.
Luis Enrique raged at Rodri for choosing the wrong option on the ball, and pulled off the stubborn and confused Gavi for Carlos Soler.
He also launched Morata, giving Spain a focal point up top, but they struggled to provide it as Morocco sat deeper and deeper.
Another substitute, Nico Williams, found the Atletico Madrid striker on one occasion but the angle was too tight and he scraped a shot in front of the goal.
Bounou made a fine save from Olmo’s free-kick as he nearly slipped through to the end, with Spain eventually creating stronger chances as the game unraveled in the moments before extra time.
Morocco responded in the added period by finding stability and testing Simon, who made a nice save with his legs to deny Walid Cheddira after breaking Spain’s left flank.
Despite heavy pressure from Spain in the final moments before the penalty shootout, they could no longer trouble Sevilla keeper Pablo Sarabia clipping outside the post, although he may have been offside.
After apparently being sent off for the shootout, Sarabia hit the post again from Spain’s first penalty, after Abdelhamid Sabiri sent Morocco ahead.
Soler and Busquets missed, while Hakim Ziyech scored, before Hakimi netted against his homeland to spark wild celebrations.
(With agency contributions)


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